All about the Kalanchoe
Have you ever noticed a furry plant covered in tiny white-silver hairs indoors or outdoors? That's a Kalanchoe Tomentosa. It features little leaves that have a combination of grey and green highlights with a hairy texture and dark chocolate-colored tips that look like cat ears. It also has a robust stem that turns woody when the plant matures.
Kalanchoe Tomentosa has many nicknames. These include Panda Plant, Chocolate Soldier, Flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, Golden Girl, Florist kalanchoe, Black Tie, Teddy Bear and Madagascar widow's-thrill.
Different types of Kalanchoes
Kalanchoe Tomentosa is a succulent genus to Kalanchoe and is classified under the Crassulaceae family. This genus consists of 120 species, out of which Tomentosa has a few of its own varieties.
Origin of the Kalanchoe
Kalanchoe originates from the deserts of Africa, and Madagascar. It is also native to Southeast Asia. Additionally, they can also be found on granite rocks in nature, which sounds bizarre considering they travel all the way to your home.
How to take care of the Kalanchoe Tomentosa
Kalanchoe is a perennial succulent in nature. As we know, succulents are very easy to care for and don't require a green thumb to ensure a healthy growth and vitality. Of course, this plant can tolerate a significant amount of neglect, but too much neglect is never good.
Kalanchoe Tomentosa plant is one of those low-maintenance succulents that is a perfect choice if you're busy and tend to forget to water your plants. Its thick leaves can store a lot of water and allow the plant to survive for extended periods, even in dry environments.
Kalanchoe's watering schedule solely depends upon the condition of its soil. If its top 5 cm seem dry, it's time to give this plant a drink. Make sure not to get its fuzzy leaves wet as they can rot. Conversely, wait a few days for the soil to dry before allowing another round of watering. Avoid over-watering as it can seriously affect kalanchoe's growth.
Another way you can water your kalanchoe is by pouring some water in its saucer, allowing it to absorb 10-15 minutes and removing the leftover water that was not absorbed to avoid root rot.
- Sunlight exposure: Kalanchoe loves bright light, but can grow in indirect light or even in a bit of shade as well. If placed outside, the best spot would be the one where the bright sun shines for 6 hours a day. If placed inside, 5 cm away from a south-facing window should be just fine.
- Soil necessities: Prone to root rot, especially if placed in a wet soil, Kalanchoe requires a potting mix that has good drainage capabilities. It also likes extra organic matter in its soil.
- Temperature requirements: Kalanchoes can grow well in an average room temperature range of 15- 23°C. Excessive cold or hot climates can kill them.
- Humidity preferences: Normal room air humidity level (around 40% or lower) is ideally preferred by Kalanchoes. They may also thrive in dry environments.
Owning a succulent has its perks. One of the greatest perks is having to considerably neglect Kalanchoe when it comes to fertilization. Being desert plants, they can even flourish without fertilization.
You can feed your plant once every 4 weeks in the summer and spring seasons with a balanced houseplant or liquid succulent food mixed at half strength.
Kalanchoe Tomentosa is not exactly an air-purifying plant, but has characteristics and an appearance that can make you happy.
Kalanchoe is quite the toxic type. It is known to be poisonous to cats, dogs, and other wildlife when ingested. It contains bufadienolides cardiac glycosides that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Ingestion in large amounts can be fatal.
Propagating the Kalanchoe
The Kalanchoe is ridiculously easy to root and can be propagated through leaf or stem cuttings. It should be done in the spring or summer seasons for a higher success rate. A triumphant propagation will give you more plants to grow in different areas.
Propagation through stem cuttings
The vegetative stems tend to root the quickest and produce the best plants. Choose a stem that has no flower growth and cut it into approximately 5-7cm long stem sections.
Place the cuttings in an empty, clean pot for a couple of days at a warm, dry place to allow the development of callous at the cut flesh of the stem. After a couple of days you can put them in the soil. This method takes 15-20 days to root and is highly preferred.
Propagation through leaf cuttings
Gently twist the leaf from the stem making sure it's a clean pull where no part of the leaf is left behind on the stem. Place it in a new pot or container until it grows callous before laying it over on your soil mix.